Piercing the tapestry of all that has been of our lives for the past ten years, the winnowing fork does its work. The Divine Hands rake the winnowing fork back and forth, over and over, pulling out the threads of the tapestry that has been. Threads loosen. The tines of the fork carry out the threads that remain intact. The threads that have snagged and disintegrated fall to the pile of scraps. It is the baptism that Jesus promised – the kind that does not just immerse us but promises to eternally transform us.
Oh, it hurts. The tugs and the pulls.
The process of dismantling the tapestry that has been in order to prepare for the tapestry that will be has been one of the most difficult ones to endure. There have been times when I tried to cling to the tapestry that has been in order to protect it from the winnowing fork’s work. But each time, the Divine Hands waited in persistence until I realized my efforts were from fear’s taunting. Fear tries to keep intact that which should be dismantled. Each time, the Divine Hands paused the process to pass on enough trust so that I might move aside and the work might continue.
The pile now sits ready for a new tapestry.
I am beginning to move from my state of sadness over the disappearance of the former masterpiece. Joy is beginning to emerge as I see the potential of the new pile of threads. I wonder what masterpiece awaits us next. But any attempts at speeding up the reconstruction process always falls flat. The tapestry may be lived by me but it is not made by me nor owned by me. It is the handiwork of the Divine Hands.
This tapestry yet-to-be will be temporary, too. The winnowing fork will return at some future time to begin dismantling the piece to prepare for a new one. My human frame will fight again against the eternal lesson – that nothing is eternal except for the Divine Hands. No matter the state of the tapestry or our feelings about it, our Eternal God picks us up and places us in the Divine Bosom where we are heard, held, and named.
I pause and give thanks for the God to whom I am bound. The voices of the world claim ownership over me, which makes the dismantling always painful. But it is to God and to God alone that I am bound. I am bound and we are all bound by the eternal affection and attachment of God’s Love. This belonging began before I was born, it continues through the living of my days, and it will persist when there are no more.
Out of this place, I orient my life each morning at my kitchen table before the sun rises. In this place, where I am heard, held, and named, I see the pile of threads not as ruins of what has been but as promise of what is to come.
“Help me to believe in beginnings,
to make a beginning,
to be a beginning,
so that I may not just grow old,
but grow new
each day of this wild, amazing life
you call me to live
with the passion of Jesus Christ.”
– Ted Loder